New Technology May Play a Big Role in Safer Food

A sensor, originally developed to detect explosives, is being adapted to find contaminants in food. Based on special quartz crystals and developed in Israel at the famed Weizmann Institute for Science, the sensor could revolutionize food safety.
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July 17, 2011 - PRLog -- A new sensor, developed to detect explosives and used at airports around the world, may be soon revolutionizing food safety.

The company, MS Tech, is based in Israel.  It gets its R&D from the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel.  The technology is called high frequency quartz microbalance sensors, or HF-QCM. The Weizmann laboratories now have demonstrated a wide range of HF-QCM sensors based on a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates: QCM technologies, plasma etching, chemical coating and deposition technologies, micro-mechanics, electronics, algorithms and digital data processing. The scientific development includes a large bank of thin chemical coatings (polymer, monolayer and antibody) that can be applied on the active surface of HF-QCM sensors. Each of these coatings has a specific affinity to different substances and is designed to selectively interact with the target molecules. The sensors are formed in a patented Sensor Matrix structure that offers high sensitivity, selectivity and specificity to a wide range of molecules.

Now under final development is a hand held food scanner that can be used in industry, even on farms, to check food safety.  Called "Foodscan 3000 (tm)", the company has started working with leading food testing organizations on optimizing detection against contaminants that can cause harm if ingested.

Foodscan 3000 has a key advantage for the food and agriculture industry -it can find a contaminant in a few seconds.  This means food items can be readily checked in situ without having to wait for expensive, time consuming laboratory analysis.

The company also produces a powerful hand held scanner that detects explosives and drugs.  Like Foodscan 3000, the hand held scanner for explosives and drugs is rapid and can find traces of explosives in only a few seconds.  The device is self purging, so it is always available, accurate, and safe.  It is the only scanner on the market without using radioactive isotopes for detection.  It can be worn by a user in a belt or shoulder holster.

DR. Stephen Bryen, founder of SDB Partners, is the President of MS Tech North America. "I was amazed by the science behind MS Tech and the wonderful work being done at the Weizmann Institute.  For me it is an honor to be associated with MS Tech and to work with the outstanding team in Israel."

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SDB Partners is a global consultancy for defense and homeland security companies. Based in Washington DC and composed of a senior team of distinguished experts based in the U.S. and at strategic locations around the world, SDB Partners helps companies with outstanding technology win programs and contracts in the U.S. and internationally.
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Tags:Food Safety, Contaminants, Drugs, Explosives, Sensors, Testing, Israel, MS Tech
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